Improvements continue at Bell Field in Faribault. Recently fencing was placed in front of each dugout and a new scoreboard installed.

I drove out there hoping the field would be accessible for practice but it was not.

Faribault, Dundas and Miesville will host the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Association State Tournament the last two weekends in August and Labor Day weekend this year.

Many improvements have been made to the baseball facility that opened in Alexander North Park May 25,1949.

I get asked all the time why the field is called Bell Field.  There really should be a plaque highlighting the person honored with that naming.

The field is named after Hadley Patterson Bell, Mayor of Faribault when the City Council decided to purchase 40 acres of land  from George Caron in 1937 for the present day park adjacent to the Rice County Fairgrounds.

Bell served four terms as Mayor of Faribault.  He was born in Warsaw Township October 15, 1877 and passed away at St. Lucas Hospital in Faribault on May 27, 1947.

He went to Faribault High School then Brown's Business College in Faribault graduating in 1897.  According to his obituary he also attended the Globe School of Telegraphy in St. Paul.

In 1901 Bell joined his father, Andrew J. Bell in the Faribault Seed company business.  After his father's death Bell became owner and operator of the business.  It had a few name changes over the years.

Bell was one of 10 children in his family growing up in Warsaw.

Bell's Biography on the Dalby Database at the Rice County Historical Society states he was employed as an apprentice machinist with F.W. Winter & Company 1896 to 1898 and is listed as an employee of the Faribo Woolen Mills from 1894 to 1896.  1898 to 1900 machinist at Nutting Truck Co. 1900 to 1901 employee of Peter Moe Meat Market before going into business with his father who passed away in 1913.

In 1915 produce was added to the seed business and that's when the first name change occurred until 1928.  Then it became Bell Seed and Specialty Co.  In 1937 it became Bell Home Appliance Company

Bell was first elected Mayor of Faribault in 1929 serving until 1933 then again from 1937 to 1941.  He served on the City Council from 1919 to 1921 and 1923 to 1927.

From the Stock market crash to the start of WWII Bell was the Mayor of Faribault.

He was a charter member of the Elks Lodge, Izaac Walton League and the Masonic Order.  Bell was a member of the Methodist Church (that's what it states in his obituary).

He first married in 1917 (Mrs. Eda Milligan, Mother of Walter Milligan) but she died in 1931.   Bell married Matihlda Kissner of Owatonna in 1935.

His obituary does not mention any children other than one his first wife had before they married.

Former Mayor Chuck Ackman used to tell the story quite often about Bell and the City Council being voted out of office for their decision to purchase those 40 acres.

It was an example of being a visionary of what could be built when a majority of voters didn't agree.

Obviously opinions changed when they decided to name the baseball field after the former city leader.

Bell Field Grandstand View from Right Center Field. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Bell Field Grandstand View from Right Center Field. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Bell Field Grandstand View from Left Center Field. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Bell Field Grandstand View from Left Center Field. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld

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